So, if I understand correctly, you prefer reading an e-ink screen... but you still would like to have all the nifty bells and whistles of a color tablet?
If you only read occasionally, I agree that the Kindle (or any other dedicated e-reader) is a bit too expensive. If you decide to stick with the Kindle, I suggest upgrading to the 3G... $50 for lifetime internet is a bargain. The web browser isn't the greatest, but it's nice to have in an emergency. But really, it doesn't sound like it's the right reader for you.
What about purchasing a less expensive e-ink reader for occasional reading, and saving up for a full-functioning Android tablet for all the fun features and apps? Prices on electronics are always dropping, especially when the next year's model is introduced. Or if you buy through your mobile phone carrier, you can usually get a subsidized price.